Blue Like Jazz — book review

Blue Like Jazz, by Donald Miller, reads like it’s title, meandering through a narcissistic world of faith, community, church, love and doubts, among other things. It was an easy read which allowed me to be challenged in places without being confronting.

This self-absorbed ramble plunges into an inner world of insecurities, doubt, pride and faith, inviting us to judge the very things we are ourselves guilty of. As an example, in the chapter on Community’ Don writes:

Living in community made me realize one of my faults: I was addicted to myself. All I thought about was myself. The only thing I really cared about was myself. I had very little concept of love, altruism, or sacrifice. I discovered that my mind is like a radio that only picks up one station, the one that plays me: K-DON, all Don, all the time.

When I read that I thought, what a selfish jerk!’ Then as he revealed more of himself I kept seeing elements of myself and was confronted with my own version of the same fault.

As I have mentioned, this is an easy book to read, the author actually seems a bit dense in many of the situations he describes — maybe this is a ploy to draw the reader in? He discusses a lot of deep and profound topics in a conversational, everyday manner. I could read this stuff even when feeling a bit brain-dead at the end of the day and still get the point of what I was reading, which indicates a good communicator to me.

Not bad for a $4.99 bargain bin purchase, though I would hesitate to pay the $24.99 full price (obviously, the book was published in 2003 and I am only reading it now, seven years later!). Blue Like Jazz is published by Thomas Nelson, ISBN 0-7852-6370-5.

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